Some Teachers Are Skipping COVID Booster Shots

Despite pushes from teacher unions to make COVID vaccines mandatory, some educators are reporting they won't get a COVID booster shot.

By Erika Hanson | Published

National Teacher Unions Have Lost 200,000 Members

covid booster

There is an abundance of information in regards to COVID across the internet. Some of it might be true, and some of it might not. But because of this, there is a stark divide over the COVID vaccine and booster’s necessity. Even in education, where plenty of teachers and unions push for vaccine mandates, some educators are foregoing booster shots, and for many different reasons.

EdWeek Research Center often undergoes extensive research studies on various topics of education. This time around, the site ran a nationally representative survey on teachers who have or haven’t gotten a COVID booster shot. The survey polled 305 principals and 384 teachers spread over 374 districts nationwide from March 30th to April 8th. In conclusion, the survey estimated that about 3 out of 10 educators are skipping the booster shot. 

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For those educators that responded that they had not gotten a COVID booster shot protecting against COVID, they were asked to choose the reason why they had not done so. The reasons selected are enormously varied, but the most common reason cited, culminating to 29% of respondents, was the belief that they don’t need any more protection since they have already contracted COVID in the past. Many studies say that antibodies build up in the immune system after contracting COVID, and this may be why. Similarly, numerous educators who came down with COVID might have been asymptomatic, leading to the sense that a booster isn’t needed.

25% of the educators not getting their COVID booster shot alleged that vaccine hesitancy and COVID denialism played a role in their decision. These individuals said that overall, they trust in the science behind vaccines, just not those protecting from COVID. Furthermore, 15% outright don’t feel that boosters are effective, while 8% said they believe the booster could damage their health.

Last July, Reuters reported research supporting the notion that COVID booster shots could do harm to individuals. US Health officials were reviewing information that possibly concluded that a third dose, or booster shot, could potentially come with even greater risks than the original vaccine. Likewise, European Union regulators reported at the beginning of this year that vaccine booster shots could potentially compromise immune systems, exposing them to even more sickness. 

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19% of the respondents said they didn’t get a booster shot because they don’t believe they need more protection since they have already had two doses of the COVIC vaccine. To this, there is plenty of data questioning the effectiveness and therefore need for booster shots.  According to extensive research from scientists published for CNBC, many field experts have argued over the past year that there is no need for extra booster shots, arguing that it does not further protect communities. But on the other hand, some studies – like this one from Harvard University – say that COVID booster shots are more effective than the initial doses at protecting against the highly contagious Omicron variant. 

Despite many concerns leading some educators not to get the COVID booster shot, there is just as much accredited research stating that the Pfizer and Moderna boosters offer a substantial increase in protection against the virus. The debate on whether or not to boost will likely rage on for quite some time. COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise throughout that nation, with no clear end in sight.